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Friday, February 24, 2012
MRC Unclear on Definition of Incest
Topic: Media Research Center

A Feb. 22 MRC Culture & Media Institute item by Lauren Thompson carries the screaming headline "TeenNick Endorses Teen Incest, Casual Sex in New Season Of ‘Degrassi’." As with a lot of CMI freakouts, that's not really true. And the incest stuff is definitely not true. Thompson writes:

The February 20 episode appropriately titled “Underneath It All” begins with two characters, Clare and Jake, on their way to school, with their father. Jake received a text message from Clare which read, “Dying to kiss you.” and later we find out the two are stepbrother and stepsister. As soon as their father’s car pulled away Clare declared the ride to school as the “longest car ride ever,” and proceeded to kiss her boyfriend/stepbrother.

Incest is defined as sexual relations between two people too biologically closely related to marry by law or custom. As Thompson concedes, the "Degrassi" siblings in question are step-siblings not related by blood. It may be a salacious plotline, but it is not incest.

And, of course, the idea that the show is "endorsing" this behavior by showing it is nothing more than a depiction-equals-approval fallacy.

MRC chief Brent Bozell, of course, regurgitates this error on his Twitter page, declaring that "TeenNick promotes incest as casually as toothpaste":

And Bozell wonders why nobody takes the MRC seriously.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:14 AM EST
Updated: Friday, February 24, 2012 12:57 AM EST

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